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Ancient DNA and the New Science of the Human Past

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Ancient DNA and the new science of the human past

Ancient DNA and the new science of the human past

Air date: Wednesday, September 21, 2016, 3:00:00 PM

Category: WALS - Wednesday Afternoon Lectures

Runtime: 01:05:46

Description: NIH Director's Wednesday Afternoon Lecture

Beginning in 2010, it became practical to sequence whole genomes from DNA extracted from ancient human boness, and to analyze the data to understand changes in biology over time. Since that timethen, the amount of ancient DNA data has increased at an extraordinary rate, with the number of samples with at least one-fold genome coverage being 5 five in 2013, 18 in 2014, and 116 in 2015. Dr. Reich will begin his lecture by describing how present-day Europeans derive from a fusion highly divergent ancestral populations as different from each other as are Europeans and East Asians. He will then summarize the history of modern humans in Europe over the approximately 45,000 years since they first arrived. He will next describe the spread of farming populations from the Near East over the last twelve thousands12,000 years. He will finally conclude by describing explaining how the analysis of ancient DNA has led to. some of the insights about human biological change over time.

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Author: David Reich, D. Phil., Professor of Genetics Investigator, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Harvard Medical School

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Ancient DNA and the New Science of the Human Past

David Reich, Professor, Department of Genetics, Harvard Medical School; Investigator, Howard Hughes Medical Institute; Senior Associate Member, Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT

Sweeping technological innovations in the field of genomics are enabling scientists to extract and analyze ancient DNA—genetic material from human remains dating back up to hundreds of thousands of years—as never before. This research is revealing new insights into our lineage as modern humans and has become as important as archaeology, linguistics, and the written word in understanding our past. David Reich, author of Who We Are and How We Got Here, will discuss the potential of ancient DNA for revealing the history of our species.

Evolution Matters Lecture Series

Free and open to the public.

Series supported by a generous gift from Drs. Herman and Joan Suit

Presented in collaboration with the Allen Discovery Center at Boston Children’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School, funded through The Paul G. Allen Frontiers Group
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David Reich: Ancient DNA and the New Science of the Human Past | Town Hall Seattle

The genomic revolution is transforming our understanding of modern humans. Geneticists like David Reich have made astounding advances in genomics, which is proving to be as important a field as archeology or linguistics for understanding our ancestry. Reich arrives at Town Hall to enlighten us with provocative research and unparalleled scientific studies that have yielded revolutionary findings—compiled in his book Who We Are and How We Got Here. He reveals the hidden story of our species, offering insight on DNA studies that reveal deep inequalities among different populations, between the sexes, and among individuals. Reich suggests that there might very well be biological differences among human populations—many of which are unlikely to conform to common stereotypes. Join Reich for a captivating glimpse into the origins of humankind, and a chance to apply the genetic findings of the past to our lives today.

David Reich is Professor of Genetics at Harvard Medical School and a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator, with a reputation as one of the world’s leading pioneers in analyzing ancient human DNA. In a 2015 article in Nature, he was named one of ten people who matter in all of the sciences for his contribution to transforming ancient DNA data “from niche pursuit to industrial process.” Awards he has received include the Newcomb Cleveland Prize from the American Association for the Advancement of Science, as well as the Dan David Prize in the Archaeological and Natural Sciences for his computational discovery of intermixing between Neanderthals and Homo sapiens.

Presented by Town Hall Seattle.
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Keynote: Using Ancient DNA to understand modern human history - Janet Kelso - LASCS 2020

Keynote: Using Ancient DNA to understand modern human history - Janet Kelso - LASCS 2020
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Using Ancient DNA to Track the Evolution of Today's Humans

(01:38 Main Presentation)
Where did we humans come from? When did we become the dominant species on the planet? Experts take you on an exploration of the last half-decade of new evidence from ancient DNA, fossils, archaeology and population studies that has updated our knowledge about The Origins of Today's Humans. Recorded on 02/21/2020. [Show ID: 35715]

More from: CARTA: Exploring the Origins of Today's Humans
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UCTV is the broadcast and online media platform of the University of California, featuring programming from its ten campuses, three national labs and affiliated research institutions. UCTV explores a broad spectrum of subjects for a general audience, including science, health and medicine, public affairs, humanities, arts and music, business, education, and agriculture. Launched in January 2000, UCTV embraces the core missions of the University of California -- teaching, research, and public service – by providing quality, in-depth television far beyond the campus borders to inquisitive viewers around the world.
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Ancient DNA and its application to human evolution

Keynoter lecture by Svante Pääbo (Max Plank Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, Germany) at Human Evolution: Fossils, Ancient and Modern Genomes (20-22 November 2017), organised by Wellcome Genome Campus Advanced Courses and Scientific Conferences.

The conference was held at the Wellcome Genome Campus Conference Centre.

What ancient DNA can teach us about migration in prehistory | Professor Ian Barnes | TEDxLondon

Professor Ian Barnes explains how the people who lived on the British Isles thousands of years ago transformed into the the population that live in the UK today. Cutting-edge scientific technology confirmed earlier in 2018 that Britain's oldest complete skeleton, known as Cheddar Man, had dark brown skin and blue eyes. This caused a social media storm, angering some groups who said the findings were incorrect. Ian argues that such factions were upset due to their own inaccurate narratives of racial continuity. Ian is a Research Leader at the Natural History Museum, where he focuses on the investigation of ancient biomolecules to resolve questions in archaeology, palaeontology and evolutionary biology. He has degrees in Archaeological Science (from Bradford) and Molecular Ecology (from York) and for the last 20 years he has been heavily involved in the development of ancient DNA. Recently, his major focus has been on the role of adaptation and migration in the human settlement of the British Isles. This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community. Learn more at

Ghosts and Hybrids: How ancient DNA and new fossils are changing human origins

Dr. John Hawks delivers a lecture on Ancient DNA & Human Origins. at Michigan State University on October 4, 2018.

The rapidly changing field of ancient DNA has settled into a kind of normal science, as several teams of researchers have coalesced around a set of approaches to discover the genetic relationships among ancient peoples.

Hawks is the Vilas-Borghesi Distinguished Achievement Professor of Anthropology at the University of Wisconsin - Madison. He is an anthropologist and studies the bones and genes of ancient humans. He's worked on almost every part of our evolutionary story, from the very origin of our lineage among the apes up to the last 10,000 years of our history.



CARTA: Ancient DNA – Archaic Ancestry; Prehistoric Biology from Dental Calculus; The Oldest DNA

This symposium brings together researchers at the forefront of ancient DNA research and population genetics to discuss current developments and share insights about human migration and adaptation. Recorded on 06/29/2016. [7/2016] [Show ID: 30970]

More from: Ancient DNA and Human Evolution
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Explore More Science & Technology on UCTV
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Science and technology continue to change our lives. University of California scientists are tackling the important questions like climate change, evolution, oceanography, neuroscience and the potential of stem cells.

UCTV is the broadcast and online media platform of the University of California, featuring programming from its ten campuses, three national labs and affiliated research institutions. UCTV explores a broad spectrum of subjects for a general audience, including science, health and medicine, public affairs, humanities, arts and music, business, education, and agriculture. Launched in January 2000, UCTV embraces the core missions of the University of California -- teaching, research, and public service – by providing quality, in-depth television far beyond the campus borders to inquisitive viewers around the world.
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CARTA: Ancient DNA and Human Evolution – Neandertal and Denisovan Genomes and What They Tell Us

(Visit: In this talk Kay Prüfer (Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology) explains that the analysis of high coverage genome sequences from two archaic human individuals (a Neandertal and a Denisovan) has revealed that they are more closely related to one another than they are to modern humans. The analysis also shows that gene flow was not uncommon among human groups in the Pleistocene. Series: CARTA - Center for Academic Research and Training in Anthropogeny [7/2016] [Science] [Show ID: 30978]
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Ancient DNA and the New Science of the Human Past

Prof. David Reich, Harvard Medical School, USA

Symposium on Ancient DNA Tells a Tale of Yore
Dan David Prize 2017
Tel Aviv University
24.5.17

Anne Stone: Ancient DNA of Humans and Their Pathogens

(Visit:
1:38 - Ancient DNA of humans and their pathogens - Anne Stone

CARTA celebrates its 10th anniversary with a whirlwind tour of anthropogeny, the study of the origin of humans, by addressing these questions across multiple disciplines: What do we know for certain? What do we think we know? What do we need to know? How do we proceed? Recorded on 3/23/2019. Series: CARTA - Center for Academic Research and Training in Anthropogeny [Show ID: 34701]

CARTA: Ancient DNA and Human Evolution – María C. Ávila-Arcos: The Genetic History of the Americas

(Visit: In this talk, María Ávila-Arcos (National Autonomous University of Mexico) presents a review of the current state of knowledge of the genetic history of the Americas as revealed by ancient and modern DNA studies. Series: CARTA - Center for Academic Research and Training in Anthropogeny [8/2016] [Science] [Show ID: 30983]

Svante Pääbo: The Future of Ancient DNA - Schrödinger at 75: The Future of Biology

Pääbo is a Swedish biologist specialising in evolutionary genetics. Since 1997, he has been director of the Department of Genetics at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany. Pääbo is known as one of the founders of paleogenetics, a discipline that uses the methods of genetics to study early humans and other ancient populations. In 1997, Pääbo and colleagues reported their successful sequencing of Neanderthal mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA), originating from a specimen found in Feldhofer grotto in the Neander valley. In May 2010, Pääbo and his colleagues published a draft sequence of the Neanderthal genome in the journal Science. He and his team also concluded that there was probably interbreeding between Neanderthals and Eurasian (but not Sub-Saharan African) humans. In 2014, he published the book Neanderthal Man: In Search of Lost Genomes where he, in the mixed form of a memoir and popular science, tells the story of the research effort to map the Neanderthal genome combined with thought on human evolution. In 1992, he received the Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Prize of the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft, which is the highest honour awarded in German research. Pääbo was elected a member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences in 2000. In October 2009 the Foundation For the Future announced that Pääbo had been awarded the 2009 Kistler Prize for his work isolating and sequencing ancient DNA, beginning in 1984 with a 2,400-year-old mummy. In June 2010 the Federation of European Biochemical Societies (FEBS) awarded him the Theodor Bücher Medal for outstanding achievements in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. In 2013, he received Gruber Prize in Genetics for ground breaking research in evolutionary genetics. He was elected a Foreign Member of the Royal Society in 2016, and in 2017 was awarded the Dan David Prize.

Ancient DNA and the New Science of the Human Past

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John Hawks on Human Evolution, Ancient DNA, and Big Labs Devouring Fossils - #6

Hawks is the Vilas-Borghesi Distinguished Achievement Professor of Anthropology at the University of Wisconsin - Madison. He is an anthropologist and studies the bones and genes of ancient humans. He's worked on almost every part of our evolutionary story, from the very origin of our lineage among the apes, to the last 10,000 years of our history.

John Hawks Weblog


Ghosts and Hybrids: How ancient DNA and new fossils are changing human origins


Transcript


man·i·fold /ˈmanəˌfōld/ many and various.

In mathematics, a manifold is a topological space that locally resembles Euclidean space near each point.

Steve Hsu and Corey Washington have been friends for almost 30 years, and between them hold PhDs in Neuroscience, Philosophy, and Theoretical Physics. Join them for wide ranging and unfiltered conversations with leading writers, scientists, technologists, academics, entrepreneurs, investors, and more.

Steve Hsu is VP for Research and Professor of Theoretical Physics at Michigan State University. He is also a researcher in computational genomics and founder of several Silicon Valley startups, ranging from information security to biotech. Educated at Caltech and Berkeley, he was a Harvard Junior Fellow and held faculty positions at Yale and the University of Oregon before joining MSU.

Corey Washington is Director of Analytics in the Office of Research and Innovation at Michigan State University. He was educated at Amherst College and MIT before receiving a PhD in Philosophy from Stanford and a PhD in a Neuroscience from Columbia. He held faculty positions at the University Washington and the University of Maryland. Prior to MSU, Corey worked as a biotech consultant and is founder of a medical diagnostics startup.

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed on this program are those of the guest(s) and do not necessarily reflect the opinions or policies of the hosts, the Office of the Senior Vice President for Research and Innovation, or Michigan State University.

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Photo credit: Neo Skull Frontal View, John Hawks CC-BY-NC-ND. Available at




© Copyright 2019 Michigan State University

a16z Podcast | The Scientific Revolution of Ancient DNA

with Jorge Conde (@jorgecondebio), David Reich, and Hanne Tidnam (@omnivorousread)

Trying to reconstruct the deep past of ancient humans out of present-day people has until now been like trying to reconstruct a bomb explosion in a room from bits of shrapnel, says David Reich, Professor of Genetics at Harvard Medical School and author of the new book, Who We Are and How We Got Here: Ancient DNA and the New Science of the Human Past. But technological advances and new tools available only in the last few years have suddenly revolutionized this field, opening up an entirely new window into the past as well as our present humanity.



image: Ben Casey, Wikimedia Commons

CARTA: Ancient DNA and Human Evolution – The Landscape of Archaic Ancestry in Modern Humans

(Visit: In this talk, Sriram Sankararaman (UCLA) describes methods that enable us to map the locations of archaic ancestry in present-day humans. He then shows how the applications of these methods helps to understand the impact of Neandertal and Denisovan ancestry in present-day humans. Series: CARTA - Center for Academic Research and Training in Anthropogeny [Science] [Show ID: 30975]

MHAAM 2019: From Homer to History: David Reich 11/1/2019

CARTA: Ancient DNA and Human Evolution – Tony Capra: Phenotypic Legacy of Neandertal Interbreeding

(Visit: Tony Capra (Vanderbilt Univ) and his team analyzed the contribution of common Neandertal variants to over 1000 electronic health record (EHR)-derived phenotypes in ~28,000 adults of European ancestry. Their results establish that archaic admixture influences disease risk in modern humans, provide hypotheses about the effects of hundreds of Neandertal haplotypes, and demonstrate the utility of HER data in evolutionary analyses. Series: CARTA - Center for Academic Research and Training in Anthropogeny [Science] [Show ID: 30981]

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